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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on July 11, 2017
Our lab has extensive allergies that limit the food he can have. We began using this food over a year ago and it made a tremendous difference in our dog- we were thrilled! We have it on auto order through Amazon so receive it regularly. About 3 bags ago, the food arrived and the bag looked different but we figured they just changed their packaging. Well they definitely changed more than that because our dog has had horrible gas, an upset stomach, diarrhea, and a deep cough like something is irritated in his throat. I thought it might be something else causing this but I came on here and saw that other people are experiencing the same problems. Deeply disappointed in Nature's Variety for not disclosing a change in their formula to loyal customers who have trusted them with their dog's health.
17 people found this helpful
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on August 19, 2017
Everyone who uses this for a dog with allergies take note: THEY HAVE CHANGED THE INGREDIENTS! Original ingredients listed in the first picture, new ingredients in the second picture. It now contains Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, and Chicken Eggs within the top 8 ingredients. This is really a problem when you've chosen a food based on a limited diet for your pet. Most importantly, there were no call-outs about new ingredients or a new formula, only a statement about the "new look" of the packaging.
Amazon sent the new product to me as an automatic substitution for the original product. They were great about refunding the order.
Now I have to do my research and find another kibble my dog can eat.
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11 people found this helpful
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on February 14, 2018
I've previously had nothing but good things to say about Instinct Grain Free. I think I must have gotten a bad bag because my dog started experiencing digestive issues as soon as I transitioned him from his previous brand. (Acana) I've got back to his previous brand and his health improved. I do want to commend Amazon for their return policy on the dog food. I was told I didn't need to return it (as returning a large bag of food I'd opened would have been problematic.) I have returned Amazon products previously, but I wasn't sure what would happen if I tried to return a partially used product and was pleased with the ease of the process.
6 people found this helpful
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Top Contributor: Petson November 16, 2017
The food itself is rated well on various dog food rating websites (such as Dog Food Advisor, a very reputable and unbiased platform for food evaluations.) My dogs seem to like it, especially the freeze dried raw food toppers. My only complaint however, and why I deducted two stars - is that the protein specificity is virtually nonexistent which makes the "limited diet" requirements very hard to achieve with Instinct food brands. The beef version states on the packaging, all types of red meat. However when reading the ingredients, chicken fat is listed. One of my dogs (a French Bulldog) is allergic to chicken, so this food is out; which is disappointing since I assumed a beef/red meat protein content would not include chicken. I also notice the duck version includes chicken meal; this isn't as baffling since duck and chicken are both a bird type, but it seems these meals also include forms of salmon. I'm not sure that salmon is a normal allergen but I would gather it could exist. Mixing proteins seems counter intuitive to a brand that is boasting the benefits of raw diets, limited diets, and grain-free options -- all of which are typically needed by dogs w/ allergies. So why they have included allergy triggers (chicken is a common one) in their non-chicken based meals is baffling. Instinct otherwise, should be a great option for some dogs, but the wide variety of proteins included in most of their food options means that it's not right for mine.
3 people found this helpful
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on June 14, 2017
We've been feeding this brand to our dog for the past 2 years, and we've loved it until now. The recipe change has caused my dog to have severe diarrhea. It's a shame that they had to change an already great recipe. Now we've wasted $60 since we can't return it, and I now have to research for a new brand. So disappointed!
7 people found this helpful
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on April 5, 2018
My dog would not eat the chicken version of this. He seemed to enjoy the rabbit and duck versions, but refused this. Went for days without eating and puked several times. Based on reviews elsewhere, apparently Nature's Variety changed the formula recently.

Have read many of the high protein dog foods have high lead content. I have not heard anything about Instinct having a problem. However, the FDA sets no upper limit of lead for dogs and some food has been shown to contain over 1000x allowable limit for humans. Wondering if this is why. Just speculating. Either way, I will not be buying this brand again.
2 people found this helpful
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on June 23, 2017
The new food isNOT the same as the old. Nowhere on the website does it state the receipe has changed I had to research on nature varietys home page because my dog is now sick with beyond a upset stomach from this change in diet!!
5 people found this helpful
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on January 7, 2018
I came to read the reviews for this food after I made the purchase with a recurring theme, it give the dog diarrhea, sure enough, just a week into it and it did. My dog have had other flavors of nature valley foods for a long time and this had never happened, stay away from this.
3 people found this helpful
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on December 2, 2017
My poodle and Pomeranian with sensitive bellies couldn’t ever adjust to this food. They would both puke everywhere. They’re back on Taste of The Wild
2 people found this helpful
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on June 21, 2018
We have been purchasing the Instinct Original for a long time. This time, when opened, I noticed that the size of the pellets had increased. Oh Oh, they've changed the formula?

Be aware that this product now contains peas! Unfortunately, we believe that one of our dogs is allergic to peas. I don't particularly want to find out so we are mulling over our next steps.
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